Once you start kegging your homebrew you of course need a way to serve from a keg. A lot of people go the route of the simple and effective picnic tap. Chill your kegs, open the fridge or freezer and pour a nice glass for you and your buddies then close those kegs back into the quiet chilled darkness until the next visit. But if you are looking for a serving option with a bit more flair nothing gets your friends envious and your bank account empty like the keggerator.
Now I have wanted one of these forever. I spent many a night scheming and dreaming of my own beer fresh on tap. Thankfully turning 30 gave me the perfect excuse to ask for a big gift to celebrate the beginning of a new decade of living. My wife got me the fridge and the permission to have it sitting in our house. All the parts came from the US via my brother and his recent visit to Denmark (thanks Jordan). The parts are of course available over here, but much cheaper in the US and interchangeable so why the heck not?
What is a kegerator?
Well a kergerator is a fridge that has been converted to serve beer from kegs using some kind of external taps. It differs from it's cousin the "keezer" in the fact that it is a refrigerator (so kegerator) rather then a freezer (hence keezer). My kegerator happens to be a full size fridge, minus the freezer bit. My wife decided to get a new one, for the high energy rating and so it would look nicer. (technically my beer fridge is nicer now then our regular fridge)
What do you need to make one?
You need taps from whence your precious alcoholic liquid will cascade into your drinking vessel. You can get tower taps, which is a metal tower with one or more taps on it, or like me just get some regular taps with shanks to jam through the fridge door.
You are also going to need a CO2 tank to put pressure on the kegs to serve, and unless you only have one tap, some kind of manifold to split the gas into multiple lines for multiple kegs. I am keeping my CO2 tank inside the fridge. Some people drill a hole through and have the tank outside. Since my kegerator sits in the living room and my wife forbids it to look ugly, I don't have a choice. Some doomsday prophets say this will lessen the life of your gas regulator. Having grown up in sub arctic conditions in the midwest I like to think it will only build character for the regulator.
You know and kegs full of beer might not hurt either. I use cornelius kegs, sometimes known as soda kegs (you can see them above). They are perfect for home brewers with their 20 L (5 gallon) capacity and easy use. I will write more about kegs some other time. You could of course get a coupling to be able to use commercial beer kegs, but that is what bars are for.
So I will do more articles in the future and go more into the nuts and bolts, or taps and shanks if you prefer, of kergerator making. Until then take a look through the pictures and feel free to leave a comment on how jealous you are!
A big thank you to my wife of course for not only allowing me to have a kegerator but also buying it as my 30th birthday present. Another big thank you to my wife's cousin Esben for drilling holes and woodifying the fridge for me.